How soon can I relocate to Thailand?
You and/or your employees can be visa-ready to enter Thailand in less than a month. We ship your visa application paperwork to you within 10-15 business days of payment. Visit the Thai E-Visa Official Website to check if you are eligible for online application.
What documents are required?
1. Passport scan
2. Diploma scan
3. Reference letters verifying experience
Upfront, we just need a scan of your passport. Reference letters and an educational certificate are required later in the work permit process, after entering Thailand.
I’m already in Thailand. Do I have to leave the country and re-enter?
That depends on your Thai visa type and history. Tourist visas can typically be converted for a fee, while other visa types are already compatible with a work permit (Non Bs, spousal visas, child visas, etc). Education and volunteer visas are unfortunately difficult to convert in-country; a border run to a nearby country is almost always necessary.
What is an Employer of Record (EOR)?
An Employer of Record (EOR) makes it easy to relocate your business to a new country. Local experts will handle all aspects of the setup (job approval, employment contract, visa and work permit application) as well as ongoing administrative procedures (immigration and payroll, tax, insurance, social security, etc.).
Who is Shelter for?
Shelter is for those currently working as freelancers, employees of overseas companies, or startups and employers. You can save big on costs by “offshoring” your operations to tech-friendly Thailand.
Digital Nomads / Freelancers
As a digital freelancer, you can take shelter for a year or two in Thailand. We’ll employ you, while you keep working on your existing projects. Continue to have complete freedom with the clients of your choosing and take advantage of Shelter’s diverse network of professionals to discover new opportunities.
If you work remotely for a company, you can easily relocate to Thailand with Shelter. Convincing your current employer to outsource your job directly to you may be one of the smartest moves you ever make. Depending on your home country’s income tax and social welfare requirements, this might be a much better arrangement for both parties. In any case, with the low cost of living in Thailand, you’re bound to come out on top.
Employers and Entrepreneurs
Do you run a startup or company? We specialize in relocating teams, offering you an affordable haven to get your business and ideas off the ground. We can help you source additional talent when you need it, or save money by relocating some (or all) of your team to Thailand. Depending on the tax laws of your country, you will save on employer contributions, health care, pensions, etc.
If you are looking for a fast, legal, clear path to tax residency in Thailand and don’t want to deal with any hassle, we are an option for you.
What's included and what's not?
Our service includes visa application, work permit for the duration of employment, drafting of employment agreements, corporate structuring consultation if needed, opening a Thai or overseas bank account, and obtaining a Thai social security card. We accompany our clients to Immigration when necessary, such as to obtain their work permit or renew their visa, and guide them through each step of the process. For 90 day check-ins, we collect our clients’ passports and complete the process for them. Finally, the bulk of our service consists in providing ongoing back-office services such as invoicing, tax and social security payments, and payroll processing.
What’s not included are incidental one-time costs such as visa/work permit application fees and multiple- or re-entry permits. If there are travel expenses incurred on a visa run, or if you need help transferring your visa without leaving the country, that’s a one-time fee as well.
What kind of visa do I get?
Non-Immigrant Business Visa ("Non B") for Employment
Can I get visas for my family?
Yes. Your spouse and/or children may apply for Non-Immigrant O ("Non O") tied to your Non B. We do not charge additional service fees for preparing visa application paperwork for dependents. Marriage and/or birth certificate is required. Dependents are not covered under Thailand Social Security, unless they obtain a work permit.
How many years can I renew / extend the visa?
That's the great thing about Non-Immigrant visas – they can be extended indefinitely. Once you hold 3 consecutive 1-year visa extensions, tied to the same work permit, you may apply for Permanent Residency (PR). The permanent residence permit allows you to stay in Thailand indefinitely without needing a visa.
Do I have to stay in Thailand for the whole year?
No. You are permitted to leave Thailand and return as you please, as long as you obtain re-entry permit before leaving.
How can I hurry this thing up?
Imagine, you could step foot in Thailand in less than a month. After we ship your visa documents, the ball is in your court. You will need to apply for a business visa at the Thai embassy or consulate in your home country or country of residence. Fortunately many embassies/consulates allow you to apply online. Check your country here: www.thaievisa.go.th. If applying in person, the process can take between 1 to 5 days to complete (application day to pick up day) depending on embassy/consulate protocol and capacity.
How often do I need to report to Immigration?
You need only report to Immigration once per year, to renew your visa and work permit. We take care of the 90 day reports ourselves.
Can Shelter support me on the path to Permanent Residency (PR)?
Yes. Once you hold 3 consecutive 1-year visa extensions, tied to the same work permit, you may apply for permanent residency. You must have a monthly income of THB 80,000, earned in Thailand (THB 30,000 if married with a Thai Spouse for 5 years) or invest a minimum of THB 3-10,000,000 in Thailand, and attend an interview, where you must demonstrate knowledge of the Thai language.
Can I get a multiple-entry permit?
Yes. The multiple-entry permit is optional and costs 3,800 baht. Unless you leave the country more than 4 times, it is a better deal to get single re-entry permits as needed, which cost 1,000 baht.
Where is the Thai Embassy or Consulate nearest me?
Check www.thaiembassy.org to find the the Thai embassy and consulates in your home country. Check www.thaievisa.go.th to see if you are eligible for online visa application.
How does Shelter compare the Elite Visa?
The Elite Visa is a pay-to-stay option for those wishing to stay long-term in Thailand without having to deal with its bureaucratic immigration system. The most affordable membership, “Elite Easy Access”, costs 600,000 THB and comes with a 5-year renewable multiple-entry visa.
It is important to remember that the Thai Elite Visa is a tourist visa and therefore cannot be held at the same time as a work permit. Therefore, legally speaking, you are not supposed to perform any activity that generates income during your stay in Thailand. Additionally it can create tax problems down the road if you are audited by your home country and compelled to justify your stay in Thailand.
Moreover, unlike with a Non-Immigrant Business Visa for example, your 5 or more years spent in Thailand are not invested into longer-term residency options such as Permanent Residency (PR). After the Elite Visa expires, you are back where you started.
Read more about how Shelter’s EOR solution compares to the Elite Visa.
How does Shelter compare to the Smart Visa?
While initially the Smart Visa was rumored to be a “digital nomad visa”, this has turned out not to be the case. Of the four visa types, only the Smart “T” and Smart “S” are worth considering for some digital professionals – namely, salaried technology experts and tech entrepreneurs looking to start up in Thailand.
The application process for the Smart Visa is known to be long and cumbersome, leading many to consider other options. First, you must apply for a “qualification endorsement” and have the relevant government agency assess your skills and provide an endorsement if the criteria are met. After an endorsement is issued, other requirements will be screened by other bodies. In all, you need to be approved by at least five different government departments.
By contrast, with Shelter you are actually employed in Thailand and as such pay tax and participate in the system. Since EOR clients are employed by a Thai company, they pay tax and social security payments in Thailand and receive free government health insurance.
Compared to the Smart Visa, the main pros of the EOR solution are convenience and benefits – easy onboarding, participation in Thailand Social Security, indefinite visa renewability, and future residency possibilities such as Permanent Residency.
Read more about how Shelter’s EOR solution compares to the Smart Visa.
What kind of benefits do I receive through Shelter?
When you join Shelter, you will be enrolled in Thailand’s Social Security program and receive a Social Security card. Comprehensive personal health insurance is included in the program, and for many expats living and working in Thailand, the coverage is more than sufficient for their needs. Currently, if you based outside Chiang Mai, you must pay for the healthcare upfront and be reimbursed later.
Do I need to have a company set up?
Not necessarily. If you are able to provide reference letters from former employers or clients verifying your experience, then you don't need to own a company.
How do taxes work in Thailand?
To be a tax-resident in Thailand you must spend at least 180 days in a calendar year in the country. Tax residents are subject to personal income tax on their income derived from Thailand and their foreign-source income remitted to Thailand in the year in which it is accrued. Income earned outside Thailand remitted after 1 year is tax-exempt. Non-residents are subject to income tax on their Thai-source income.
Do you have a referral program?
Yes, we have a generous referral program and a long list of existing partners in the relocation space. Contact us to learn more.
Can I live anywhere in Thailand?
Yes. Read this article to learn more about the 5 Best Places to Live and Work Remotely in Thailand.
Do dependents receive social security benefits?
No, dependents are not eligible for social security benefits unless they get a work permit.
Contact us today.